News

New ferry produces bad vibrations

Sea trials of the Washington State Department of Transportation’s newest ferry, the 64-car Chetzemoka, uncovered an excessive vibration issue with the vessel’s driveline, according to a news release from the Ferries Division.

Despite repeated attempts at contact Friday, ferries officials refused to comment on whether there were any more issues with the Kwa-di Tabil Class ferry or whether the vibrations would delay the christening ceremony currently scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 29. The Chetzemoka is scheduled to start service on the Port Townsend-to-Keystone route the same day.

The vessel underwent sea trials and the United States Coast Guard approved safety requirements of the Chetzemoka. Tests were made of the vessel’s propulsion system, steering system, navigation equipment and public address system, according to the news release.

Discovery of the excessive vibration in the driveline “is exactly why we have sea trials and a massive cooperative effort to get this new ferry into service,” Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said in the news release.

The Ferries Division and the builder, Todd Pacific Shipyards, are working with engineers to determine the cause of the problem. Excessive vibration can shorten the lifespan of driveline components, according to the release.

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